Russell wins Thistle National Championship

Published on August 3rd, 2018

Brad Russell topped the 66-boat fleet to win the 2018 Thistle National Championship, held July 30 to August 3 in Westport, CT. Sailing with Joe Hart and Terra Berlinski, they put together an impressive string of single-digit finishes to complete the seven-race, no-throw-out regatta with 27 points. This was Russell’s first title win, a third-generation Thistle sailor following in the footsteps of his father (Andy) and grandfather (Jack).

Conditions were mostly light-wind races over five days, with two races on day three being the only ones sailed in heavy air.

Dave Dellenbaugh, sailing with daughters Emily and Becca, finished in second place with 32 points, followed by Dan Hesse (40 points), Paul Abdullah (46 points), and Matt Fisher (49 points).

As with all Thistle Nationals, some of the biggest competition was for the top all-family boat (won by team Dellenbaugh) and top finishing husband-and-wife team (won by Charlie and Allison Kreitler in 7th place). The youngest crew was 12-year-old Braden Joyce, who was sailing with his dad, Brian Joyce, and finished in 9th place overall in his first Nationals.

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2019 Thistle Class Champions: (from left) Joe Hart, Brad Russell, and Terra Berlinski

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